Competency and Federal Criminal Appeals

A three-judge appeal court recently upheld the dismissal of charges that a man faced after threatening an FBI agent who declared the man mentally incompetent to stand trial. The man was later released from federal custody after spending 22 months in prison. The appeal was an effort to have the incompetency ruling overturned to force prosecutors to take the man to trial. The man planned to call 50 to 75 witnesses at the trial to establish that the FBI had turned against him. The man argued that there was insufficient evidence to establish that he was mentally incompetent. During the criminal case, the man had fired several lawyers, attempted to represent himself, and sent numerous letters to various public officials. The man’s court-appointed attorney declined to comment about the ruling. The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees every person the right to a fair trial. One of the elements of a fair trial is that a person is able to adequately…

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